SOURCE: Soles4Souls Inc.

May 06, 2008 18:02 ET

Soles4Souls™ Inc., the Shoe Charity, Asks for Help to Send Footwear to Myanmar

$50,000 Will Send 25,000 Boots and Shoes to the Region Immediately

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - Soles4Souls, the international charity dedicated to providing footwear for the needy worldwide, announced today that they are donating 25,000 pairs of shoes to the victims of the recent cyclone in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The charity issued a request for donors to send $50,000 to ship new shoes and boots to the hard-hit region.

"We need to do our part to help the victims of the disaster," said Soles4Souls Founder and CEO Wayne Elsey. "It's horrible to see what the people of Myanmar are going through right now. Many of them have been left with nothing, and we urge all Americans to donate to any charity helping out the people of Myanmar," he said.

Cyclone Nargis, which came ashore early Saturday, has killed a reported 22,000 people with 44,000 people still missing. Up to 1 million people may be homeless after winds of 150 mph hit the Southeast Asian nation.

State television showed large trees and electricity poles sprawled across roads as well as roofless houses ringed by water in the delta, regarded as Myanmar's rice bowl. The missing, homeless and death toll count continues to rise, making Nargis the deadliest natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami.

Wayne Elsey founded Soles4Souls as a result of the Asian tsunami, rallying those in the footwear industry to donate 250,000 pair of shoes to the victims along the Indian Ocean. Soles4Souls then went on to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina, last year's earthquake in Peru and the victims of the California wildfires, among others.

"This is one of the primary things we do," said Elsey. "You never know when or where a disaster will hit. One day you have everything you need, the next day you may only have your life. A pair of shoes can help people begin the rebuilding process."

Myanmar's strict military regime has signaled it will welcome aid supplies for victims of a devastating cyclone, the U.N. said Tuesday, clearing the way for urgently needed roofing materials, medicine, water purifying tablets, boots and mosquito nets.

For information on how you can help, visit

About Soles4Souls

Soles4Souls™ facilitates the donations of shoes, which will be used to aid the hurting worldwide. The organization has distributed more than 3 million pairs of shoes since January 2005 (or one pair of shoes every 28 seconds). Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate both new and "gently worn" footwear. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. For more information about Soles4Souls, please call (866) 521-SHOE, or visit

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